In the vast Portuguese countryside, situated between the southern hills of the Alentejo, we find boutique hotel Dá Licença. You should know that it was meant to be a quiet, private retreat far away from the hustle and bustle of the city, but that turned out a little different.
Victor Borges and Franck Laigneau, living in Paris, were looking for a holiday home away from the busy traffic and preferably in the middle of the greenery and peace. In their search for this, they stumbled upon a building which they instantly fell in love with. A building with masterful views of lush olive trees, the forest of Serra d'Ossa and some small white-washed villages that form a light show at night. Instead of keeping the beautiful piece of unspoilt peace to themselves, they decided to turn it into a hotel. That is where the story of Dá Licença Boutique Hotel begins.
A building with masterful views of lush olive trees, the forest of Serra d'Ossa and some small white-washed villages that form a light show at night.
The name 'Dá Licença' means in Portuguese 'with your permission' – a traditional courtesy of riders entering the arena, a feeling Borges and Laigneau also want to radiate in their hotel. Architects Procal from Estremoz transformed the 19th century cluster of old farmhouses into a modern retreat of straight lines and discreet volumes without detracting from the traditional character. The surrounding 120-hectare estate, rich in olive, fig and cork trees, forms the special environment of Dá Licença.
Borges and Laigneau designed the interior themselves. The snow-white exterior is reflected in the minimalist aesthetics of the interior. It became a beautiful fusion of contemporary design and folkloric craftsmanship. The couple opted for a dark granite floor that contrasts with the marble furniture to create an optimal southern atmosphere. The collaborations with various artists ensured the perfect result: from colourful blankets designed by artist Mizzete Nielsen to ceramics by Susana Piteira and antique wooden cabinets by the 19th century Norwegian woodcarver and designer Lars Kinsarvik.
Three grand buildings house common areas, one suite and two guest rooms. In the two smaller buildings there are four additional suites and an additional guest room. These are connected by large and small courtyards, private gardens and cosy terraces. Not to be forgotten are the swimming pools, with views over the Portuguese countryside, which are indispensable in a Mediterranean location such as this one.
Oh, how we would love being there right now!